Archives October 2023

Pakistan Solar Association Celebrates a Year of Remarkable Achievements

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir)

The Pakistan Solar Association (PSA) commemorated a year filled with significant milestones during its Annual General Meeting held on September 30, 2023, at the PSA headquarters in Lahore. The meeting was a testament to PSA’s dedication to addressing key issues related to net metering and its unwavering stance against the imposition of the GST on solar products. These accomplishments underscore PSA’s steadfast commitment to the advancement of the solar energy industry in Pakistan.

Chaired by Mr. Amir Chaudry, Chairman of PSA, the meeting centered around the pivotal role of solar energy in Pakistan’s progress and the urgent necessity to cultivate a clean and green energy ethos throughout the nation.

Mr. Amir Chaudry shared the association’s visionary goals, stating, “Our vision is to transform Pakistan into a hub of clean and green energy. The solar energy sector not only holds the potential to mitigate energy shortages but also to generate employment opportunities and significantly contribute to the nation’s economic development. By fostering collaboration within our industry, we can expedite the adoption of solar energy solutions and pave the way for a sustainable, resilient, and prosperous Pakistan.”

Attendees at the meeting unanimously recognized the profound significance of solar energy in Pakistan’s energy landscape. They emphasized how harnessing solar power could serve as a transformative solution to mitigate Pakistan’s energy challenges while concurrently mitigating environmental impacts.

During the meeting, PSA members pledged to forge stronger bonds within the solar energy sector. Their collaborative endeavors will encompass policy advocacy, research and development initiatives, and capacity-building programs aimed at ensuring the sustainable growth of the industry.

The Annual General Meeting of PSA concluded with a resolute commitment from all members to work closely with government entities, private sector stakeholders, and civil society to promote the adoption of solar energy and renewable energy technologies and practices throughout Pakistan.

The Pakistan Solar Association (PSA) is a leading organization dedicated to advancing the adoption of solar energy and sustainable practices in Pakistan. PSA is committed to promoting solar energy as a viable and environmentally friendly solution to Pakistan’s energy needs while supporting the growth of the solar energy industry. The association actively engages in advocacy, research, and capacity-building initiatives to create a brighter and more sustainable energy future for Pakistan.

Xiaomi Announces Pakistan launch of 13T series

Pakistan (Muhammad Yasir)

Xiaomi today revealed its latest Xiaomi 13T Series smartphones termed as “Masterpiece in Sight”, designed and engineered for customers worldwide who are ready to unleash their visual artistry. Equipped with advanced performance optimization architecture lasting battery life, and a crystal-clear display, the Xiaomi 13T Series ensures outstanding smartphone experiences whether shooting photos, watching videos, or in daily usage. Both Xiaomi 13T Pro and Xiaomi 13T offer a triple camera setup featuring Summicron lenses co-engineered with Leica, including a 50MP wide-angle camera with 24mm equivalent focal length and a 7P aspherical lens designed to capture more light supporting high dynamic range shooting. Additionally, it offers 100% DCI-P3 coverage3 with support for 68 billion colors, providing end-to-end HDR10+ compatibility. Both Xiaomi 13T Pro and Xiaomi 13T feature wide-ranging power efficiency enhancements and lasting battery life, enabling users to enjoy a faster and more efficient smartphone experience.

Xiaomi 13T is equipped with a MediaTek Dimensity 8200-Ultra, built for superb power efficiency using the latest TSMC 4nm process enabling improvements in CPU and GPU performance.

Xiaomi 13T Pro is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 9200+ chipset with a fast Octa-core CPU, delivering speeds of up to 3.35GHz. It also has a built-in Arm Immortalis-G715 GPU that improves image processing, making gaming experiences smooth and free from worries about battery life.

Market Availability

Xiaomi 13T is now available online at Mistore, Corecart, Daraz, and Xiaomi sale. It will also be available nationwide in all retail outlets. 13T Pro will be available soon.

Our Distributors are Tech Sirat, Airlink Communications, Smartlink Technologies, Core Tech, Phonezo Impex, Burque.

Xiaomi 13T has 1 variant available.

Variant 12 GB + 256 GB. Price is 169,999

Xiaomi 13T Pro also has 1 variant available.

Variant 12 GB+ 512 GB. Price is 234,999

Device Specifications

Specifications 13T 13T Pro
Display 144Hz Crystal Res AMOLED display3 144Hz Crystal Res AMOLED display3

 

Rear Camera  

50MP wide-angle camera

 

 

 

50MP wide-angle camera

 

Front Camera  20MP front camera

 

        20MP front camera

 

Battery 5000mAh (typ) 5000mAh (typ)
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 8200-Ultra

 

 

 MediaTek Dimensity 9200+

 

Color Meadow Green, Black, Alpine Blue Meadow Green, Black, Alpine Blue

Merchant digitization emerges as one key driver for Pakistan’s inclusive economic growth in UN report.

Pakistan (Muhammad Yasir)

A big opportunity for Pakistan resides in ushering its micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) into the digital age, as revealed in a new report by the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance, in support of its member, the Government of Pakistan, and the State Bank of Pakistan.

The fates of small businesses and national economies are intertwined. If one thrives, so does the other. Pakistan’s MSMEs account for 90% of enterprise in the country and nearly half of GDP. Their growth remains perpetually hamstrung by a dependence on cash. This tether to cash means that transactions – and horizons – are inevitably limited.

The adoption of responsible digital payments for merchants, with their proven ability to boost women’s economic participation and deliver the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, represents a tremendous pocket of potential growth. Digital payments can be a pathway to solve some of the major economic challenges the country faces.

Digitizing responsibly boosts financial inclusion and future-proofs enterprises, ensures equitable access to formal financial services, improves workflows, reduces operational costs and mitigates against mobility constraints, especially for women entrepreneurs. Designing digital payments, based on female customer needs, represents a market opportunity of over USD $ 650 million nationally.

“We commend the State Bank of Pakistan for its bold leadership in driving responsible payment digitization for merchants, especially women merchants. Across Asia, digitizing merchant payments has led to rapid MSME growth and, as businesses grow, so do economies. We agree – now is the time to accelerate financial equality for women merchants in Pakistan, and look forward to our continued partnership.” said Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the UN-based Better Than Cash Alliance

The report indicates that the national adoption of digital payments by 2025 in Pakistan can boost GDP by 7 percent, generate four million jobs and realize an additional USD 263 billion in deposits, as defined by the National Payments System Strategy.

The report also advises active engagement by all key public and private sector actors to work towards building trust in digital payments, make them affordable for MSMEs, incentivize adoption through measures like lower sales rate tax, alongside other key recommendations.

Carrefour Pakistan Celebrates 14 Years of Excellence

Pakistan (Muhammad Yasir)

Carrefour, owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim in Pakistan, celebrates 14 years of excellence in serving the Pakistani community. The ongoing anniversary discount offers will remain available until October 25th, and they are a tribute to the trust and loyalty of Carrefour’s valued customers, who have been an integral part of this remarkable growth journey. Carrefour is offering unbeatable discounts, emphasising its commitment to ensuring affordability and unparalleled customer satisfaction.

The anniversary festivities began with a special cake cutting ceremony, signifying the joyous occasion. Adding to the celebratory spirit of the event, the chief guest for the ceremony was the renowned cricketer, Shahid Afridi, who also launched his drink brand, exclusively available at Carrefour stores.

Umer Lodhi, the Country Manager of Carrefour Pakistan at Majid Al Futtaim Retail, stated, “Our 14 years in Pakistan have been a journey of tremendous growth and customer satisfaction. We have converted millions of shoppers into loyal customers by consistently creating exceptional shopping experiences. Carrefour is now synonymous with providing unmatched value for money and variety to customers in Pakistan, and we are committed to continuing this legacy through our anniversary campaign.”

Shahid Afridi expressed his delight in being a part of Carrefour’s anniversary celebrations, stating, “It’s truly an honour to be here on this special occasion, celebrating 14 years of Carrefour in Pakistan. Carrefour continues to stand strong, offering immense discounts and maintaining top-notch quality products for its customers.”

Since its establishment in 2009, Carrefour has proudly served millions of Pakistani customers annually. The brand presently operates 11 stores, which are strategically located in major cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, and Gujranwala. With a substantial investment of approximately 12 billion rupees, Carrefour is dedicated to expanding its retail presence to more cities across Pakistan. Notably, Carrefour has played a vital role in supporting the local economy by sourcing 99 per cent of its products from over 700 local suppliers, contributing significantly to human capital development by creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

In addition to the delightful in-store shopping experience, Carrefour offers the convenience of a delivery service through the MAF Carrefour (Pakistan) app. Customers can also enjoy instant discounts, earn, and redeem points using the MyCLUB loyalty programme.

For a wide range of products available in stores, visit https://www.carrefour.pk/mafpak/en/.

 

Mr. Rizwan Ata takes charge of BankIslami as its New President & CEO

Karachi (Muhammad Yasir)

BankIslami, Pakistan’s leading Islamic financial institution, has appointed Mr. Rizwan Ata as its new President & CEO.

Mr. Rizwan Ata has bought with him a wealth of experience and a profound understanding of the Islamic banking industry to his new role. Having been associated with BankIslami for the past five years in the capacity of Group Head Distribution. Mr. Rizwan Ata has played a pivotal role in driving the bank’s exceptional growth and success during this period. Moreover, he also held the position of Deputy CEO before taking the charge as the President & CEO of BankIslami.

Before joining BankIslami, Mr. Rizwan Ata held various leadership positions in both local and international banks. He served as the Group Head of Islamic Banking at Bank Alfalah, the Group Chief of Islamic Banking at Allied Bank, and held leadership roles at Meezan Bank as the Group Head of Branch Network and SME. His extensive experience also includes leadership roles at Emirates Bank International.

Mr. Rizwan Ata’s impressive professional journey is complemented by a strong academic background. He holds a Master’s Degree from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and possesses leadership and management certifications from renowned institutions such as INSEAD and the University of London.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Rizwan Ata stated, “I am deeply honored and excited to lead BankIslami in this new chapter. I am committed to building upon the strong foundation laid by my predecessor, Mr. Syed Amir Ali, and working collaboratively with our talented team to further strengthen our position as a leader in Islamic banking in Pakistan. Together, we will continue to deliver innovative and Shariah-compliant financial solutions to our valued customers.”

BankIslami is honored to have a professional management team, underpinned by the unwavering support of its strong sponsors in the form of the JS Group. JS Group is one of the biggest groups in Pakistan with stakes in almost all sectors including Banking, Insurance, Energy, Education, Technology, Food, and Social Welfare. BankIslami remains committed to continuing its upward trajectory, serving its customers with excellence, and contributing to the growth and development of Islamic banking in Pakistan.

As BankIslami embarks on this new chapter under the leadership of Mr. Rizwan Ata, it is confident that the bank will not only sustain its momentum but also thrive further, thanks to the dedication and expertise of its talented employees.

Mr. Aqeel Karim Dhedhi becomes the founder member of Naya Nazimabad Gymkhana.

Karachi (Muhammad Yasir)

Renowned businessman Mr. Aqeel Karim Dhedhi, Founding Chairman of AKD Group and Mr. Yaqoob Habib visited Naya Nazimabad Gymkhana hosted by Mr. Arif Habib and became the founding member of Naya Nazimabad Gymkhana. They visited the sales center as well as the construction sites of commercial and apartment projects being developed in Naya Nazimabad. They also visited Naya Nazimabad Jama Masjid and praised the magnificent architecture of the mosque and also appreciated the fast paced and remarkable developments inside Naya Nazimabad. They also expressed their gratification on development of uplift projects outside Naya Nazimabad as well as the speedy construction of flyover which will lead to ease the access to the Naya Nazimabad in near future. Mr. Aqeel Karim Dhedhi congratulated Gymkhana Management for establishing the International standard sporting & recreational club for the people of Karachi which is a model of modern architectural design and added that he would definitely recommend his friends and family members to take membership of this international standard club as the introductory lifetime membership fee is very low as compared to other clubs.

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Research by AKU highlights the effectiveness of interventions to improve the health of textile workers in Pakistan

Karachi (Muhammad Yasir)

A multi-faceted study conducted by Dr Asaad Nafees, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences at the Aga Khan University (AKU) is the largest of its kind to determine the effectiveness of a simple intervention in reducing cotton dust-related respiratory health effects on textile workers in Pakistan. The study titled MultiTex RCT, in collaboration with the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) and Imperial College London, marked a crucial step towards revolutionizing occupational health interventions for textile workers in Pakistan and other Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs).

Persistent cotton dust exposure leads to the development of a disease called byssinosis, a disease prevalent among textile workers in LMICs due to limited access to occupational health and safety measures. With an initial cohort of 2031 workers from 38 textile mills in Karachi, the study tested a low-cost intervention package to ascertain if it would mitigate the adverse respiratory effects experienced by these workers. The interventions comprised training in occupational health for all workers and managers, regular refresher sessions, formation of workplace committees to enforce a health and safety plan including wet mopping and safe disposal of cotton dust, and provision of face masks. The results showed clear improvements in respiratory symptoms and lung function of the textile workers.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust for a period of three years, the findings of this important research can be applied to the larger textile landscape helping workers in Pakistan and elsewhere stay safe and minimize their disease burden. Discussing the study outcomes, Prof Paul Cullinan, formerly of Imperial College London, involved in the study said, “Studies of this caliber on occupational health interventions are extremely rare and this work has promise for large-scale uptake since the multifaceted intervention was designed to fit the local context in Pakistan.  There is no obvious reason why it could not be rolled out more widely, nationally, and internationally.  In the 200 years we have been faced with byssinosis, this work represents a landmark in its control”. He underlined the importance of these simple yet transformative interventions, advocating for their widespread adoption for the benefit the workers.

Dr Asaad Nafees, the Principal Investigator, explained that “this trial was a parallel, cluster-randomized controlled study with textile mills as the unit of randomization. It can be replicated across the region to potentially impact respiratory health of all relevant workers, and potentially result in a healthier, more productive workforce.”

Key findings were recently presented at a seminar, where Engineer Sibtain Mughal, Joint Director Labour (OSH), Government of Sindh, committed the government’s support to the implementation of the health measures recommended by the study. “Workers deserve a high level of care and attention since their health holds significant importance for the industrial productivity and economy of the country.”

Several manuscripts have been published in high-impact occupational health journals. The study was also recently accepted for publication in the European Respiratory Journal.

CBD PUNJAB’S CEO IMRAN AMIN LEADS PROGRESS REVIEW MEETING FOR GHORA CHOWK FLYOVER

Completion Of Retaining Piles For Ghora Howk And Progress On Multiple Key Projects Of CBD Punjab Discussed.

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir)

Punjab Central Business District Development Authority also known as Central Business District Punjab (CBD Punjab), is making significant strides in its ongoing projects under the dynamic leadership of CEO Imran Amin. A progress review meeting was chaired by CEO CBD Punjab Imran Amin to closely examine the progress of the Ghora Chowk Flyover, Executive Director Technical CBD Punjab, Riaz Hussain, provided a comprehensive briefing on the ongoing progress of the project The meeting was attended by the Director Business Development CBD Punjab, Ali Waqar Shah, Director Marketing CBD Punjab, Waseem Siddiq, Director Architecture CBD Punjab, Sameer Aftab, Director Construction CBD Punjab, .Asif Babar, along with officials from Nespak and NLC. CEO CBD Punjab, Imran Amin, stressed the importance of adhering to the vision and directives of Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Raza Naqvi to ensure the timely completion of the project. While addressing the meeting Imran Amin said, “We are fully committed to completing the project in the stipulated time. This project is pivotal for the prosperity of the region, and will improve overall mobility in the area.” During the meeting, the technical team reported that all 33 retaining piles for the Ghora Chowk Flyover are completed and the boundary wall is also near completion. They also highlighted the round-the-clock work at the Ghora Chowk site, with three rig machines in operation. Additionally, the pile load test for the Ghora Chowk Flyover is also completed.

CEO CBD Punjab Imran Amin was also given a brief update about other projects of the authority including the upgradation of Walton Road, the construction of a road connecting CBD Punjab Boulevard, CBD Quaid District, and Walton Road, the construction of an overhead crossing bridge at Walton railway crossing, the infrastructure development of CBD Punjab and the construction of the parking plaza at CBD Punjab project site.

Governor Punjab Visits Jazz Digital Park, Stresses Need for Digitalization of Education in Pakistan

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir)

Governor Punjab, Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman, paid a visit to the Jazz Digital Park, Pakistan’s largest Tier 3 certified data center, in Islamabad. During the visit, he highlighted the vast potential for growth in Pakistan’s IT sector besides the immense need for digitalization of the country’s education sector.

The Governor highlighted the significance of the IT industry, noting that expertise in IT and technology is essential for national development. He commended the skills and talents of Pakistani youth in various fields and underscored the necessity of equipping them with modern IT skills to capitalize on global opportunities.

Expressing his appreciation for Jazz’s Digital Data Park, the Governor said that the facility offers advanced IT facilities for freelancers, firms, and public and private institutions. He lauded Jazz’s proposal for an efficient learning management system (LMS) for the public universities in Punjab, pledging full support for addressing today’s need for digitization and technological advancement in the education sector, alongside saving costs for the government.

Jazz’s proposed solution for the digitalization of education offers a three-fold approach, involving GSM, Cloud (Garaj), and smartphones, an example of which is already live in The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, setting a precedent for all other Public Universities in Punjab.

Speaking on the occasion, Asif Aziz, Chief Business Officer at Jazz, said that the state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure of Garaj would serve as the backbone for this project. The LMS powered by Jazz aims to simplify educational processes and improve engagement between teachers and students by offering functionalities like creating and managing resources, alongside tracking student progress, and fostering peer-to-peer learning.

Asif added that Jazz is pioneering this initiative to digitally transform education in Pakistan while retaining a significant $1 billion cloud revenue within the country besides ensuring data sovereignty. By establishing local data centers and cloud services, we can break free from international platforms like Amazon, Google, and Cloud, he stressed.

Jazz’s Digital Park is the largest Tier 3 certified data center in Pakistan. Recognizing the importance of secure data storage for businesses of all sizes, the Digital Park offers state-of-the-art facilities, 24-hour backup, scalability options, and convenient pay-as-you-grow payment plans.

Governor Punjab Baligh Ur Rehman expressed his excitement at visiting the Jazz Digital Park, acknowledging the strides made by Jazz in Pakistan’s IT sector. He lauded the transformative potential of Jazz’s Digital Park in bolstering Pakistan’s IT landscape.

He urged IT service providers to extend their services to students, universities, and educational institutions at affordable rates, fulfilling their social responsibility and furthering the growth of the IT sector.

Research finds citizens concerned about their protein intake

Karachi (Muhammad Yasir)

The ‘Right To Protein’ initiative of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) introduced the ‘Pakistan Protein Perception Study 2023’. The nation-wide survey conducted by YouGov assessed citizens’ knowledge, behaviour, and perceptions about protein foods in Pakistan. The study highlights the practical challenges that pose as a barrier to adequate protein consumption in Pakistan. Majority of the Pakistanis are unaware of their ideal daily protein requirements and lack basic knowledge of protein rich foods. 

The Pakistan Protein Perception Study found that majority of the respondents spend only between 10-20% of their monthly food budgets on food sources that are rich in protein, which is the most essential macronutrient for human bodies Over 60% citizens surveyed agree that lack of protein affects their overall health, and that unhealthy lifestyle choices contribute significantly to their protein deficiency. Misinformation about protein consumption was also found to be rampant, with 46% respondents wrongly believing that high consumption of protein leads to weight gain and 45% stating that controlling calories is more important than consuming protein.  Less than 50% of respondents felt they were consuming less than half of the required amount of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and over 40% incorrectly classified fruits, vegetables, and whole grain cereals to be ‘high protein’ foods. 

The study further revealed that high inflation in non-meat protein sources such as beans, milk, whole grain cereals as well as animal protein sources such as poultry, fish, and meat are driving causes about their unaffordability in recent times. As a result, while less than half (46%) respondents reported some increase in protein consumption, little over half reported a decline or no change in their consumption as per basic requirements. Respondents whose protein consumption decreased by a larger amount are larger households (married and have kids) and the decline was experienced majorly in the consumption of meat and fish which are protein-rich but more expensive as compared to other sources.

This study comes at a critical time and helps understand the challenges caused due to rising food prices in the country. With the compounding factors of a growing population and the impacts of global climate change, ensuring food and nutrition security has become an urgent area of concern. 

Speaking about the study, Deeba Giannoulis, Regional Head, U.S. Soy Marketing & Sustainability, SAASSA, U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) said, “USSEC is a big advocate of food and nutrition security in the region. The ‘Pakistan Protein Perception Study’ brings forth the perspectives and priorities for the citizens, aiming to identify strategies for combating protein energy malnutrition and advocating reforms to bolster protein production and consumption. These could encompass measures such as improving accessibility to quality animal feed to lower costs of high-protein foods, exploring alternative sources of protein-rich foods, and raising overall public awareness of the critical role that protein plays in nutritional well-being and therefore nutrition security of the nation.”

Developed by YouGov, the Pakistan Protein Perception Study 2023 surveyed over 500 respondents in Pakistan using a quota-based sampling approach for representation of different age groups (18-45+ years) and genders. This survey was conducted using an online interview (lasting ~10 minutes) administered in English, to a sample from members of the YouGov Pakistan panel that consists of nearly 69,500 individuals. The sample was representative of adult urban internet users (18 years of age and above), who can read and understand English, and the results reflect the general responses of such an audience.

‘Right To Protein’ invites everyone to share the Pakistan Protein Perception Study 2023 within their networks and engage in meaningful discussions to drive positive change